back to article Poll: Australians hate government data retention plan

Polling by Essential suggests that Australians aren't behind the government's plan to force the telecommunications industry to retain data about subscribers' online activities. According to the research, only the government's own base of voters is in favour of the data-retention* plan, with 59 per cent of Coalition voters …

  1. GrumpyOldBloke

    Distinction between Data and Metadata

    The distinction between data and metadata is quite clear. The confusion stems from who is talking about it.

    metadata = what the puppets think they can get away with today without loosing too much skin.

    metadata = what the puppet masters really want and what they will attain once they can get their foot in the door. Also referred to as data.

    We are still in the early part of pass the parcel. The tech titans in Canberra who represent us are still trying to define metadata as a publicly acceptable entity rather than a technical concept. Like being strip searched and sterilised at airports or touching a print scanner along with thousands of your fellow travelers now that Ebola is spreading and transmissible through secretions. Under no circumstances should they be assisted in this pursuit. Let them enjoy their moral and intellectual superiority without turncoats - I am looking at you Malcolm - assisting them by offering mechanisms or excuses to climb in yet another window.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Distinction between Data and Metadata

      Yep. Meta-data == data

      The internet has always been a bit of a bane to government with so much stuff out of its reach. With enough DPI that situation is reversed, they know so much more about you than they could ever have hoped or you can imagine.

      I'm not sure the puppet masters care about the data though. They just want government "support" for their industry. Its scary and as laws around in the 5-eyes goverments homgenise either explicitly or by extradition, it gets scarier all the time.

      1. Thorne

        Re: Distinction between Data and Metadata

        The problem is the idiots in government don't know the difference between metadata and data. The idiots have been told it's harmless stuff that everybody already stores.

        You just have to listen to them to know they have no idea what it is they're trying to sell to the public.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    What percentage of the public understand [other amazing sciency thing]?

    Politicians are reliant on most people not understanding the issue or the likely impact.

    They use complacency and ignorance as a shield.

  3. KrisMac

    Metadata == Data

    The problem space is entirely defined by two questions:

    * Who is using it?

    * What are they using it for?

    As soon as Metadata becomes a source of Information in its own right, rather than being a description of data located separately, then it becomes data in and of itself..

    1. dan1980

      Re: Metadata == Data


      This is EXACTLY the point I have been belabouring through all these comments sections.

      Metadata is data that describes the data you are actually interested in. If the data you are storing and thus are interested in is browsing history then that becomes data at that point.

  4. Hazmoid

    I'm reminded of the Robin Williams quote “Politics from ’Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’; and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.”

  5. Martijn Otto

    I'm not surprised

    Since we have the silly data retention in the Netherlands, all reports about it shows that it does absolutely nothing to help catch more criminals. The only thing it does is eat up your tax money to increase government surveillance.

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